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Employee health benefits notification begins March 1

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in Office Management,Payroll Management

The Affordable Care Act health care reform law requires you to provide current employees and new hires with a notice regarding health insurance coverage, beginning March 1.

Under the law, your notice must inform employees of the existence of a state individual exchange, and describe the services the exchanges provide and the manner in which employees may contact the exchange to request assistance. One problem: State exchanges won't be up and running until Oct. 1.

If you pick up less than 60% of the cost of group coverage, the notice must inform employees who purchase insurance through an individual exchange that they may be eligible for premium assistance tax credits and cost-sharing reductions.

If employees do purchase coverage through the individual exchange, the notice must inform them that they will lose any employer contributions to their benefits, and that their employer’s contribution is tax-free to them.

TIME IS SHORT: The Department of Labor hasn’t said whether it will let this deadline pass without implementation. Although it’s expected that the DOL will create a model notice, it hasn’t yet released one. Point your browser to the DOL's Affordable Care Act guidelines to check the status of this provision.

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